The song was written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker and features Fagen on vocals. The song was also a #11 hit on the Pop singles chart in 1973. In March 2005, Q magazine placed the song at number 95 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has reportedly said that Elliott Randall's guitar solo on "Reeling in the Years" is his favorite solo of all time. That solo was also ranked the 40th best guitar solo of all time by the readers of Guitar World magazine. Fagen referred to the song as "dumb but effective" in Rolling Stone magazine. The four-channel Quadrophonic mix of the recording has extra lead guitar fills not heard in the more common two-channel Stereo version.